Orlando set for defiant Pride celebrations this weekend

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Orlando’s Pride festival is set to take place this week, in memory of the victims of the Pulse massacre.

50 people were killed and 53 injured in the Pulse gay club shooting on June 12, when a gunman opened fire in the club.

Four months on from the attack, the city’s defiant LGBT community will take to the streets this weekend for its annual Pride celebrations.

More than 150,000 LGBTQ community members and allies are set to come together for the day-long Come Out With Pride Festival on October 8, centring on Pride march The Most Colorful Parade in Orlando.

A Pulse float will be at the head of the parade, including Pulse employees and victims’ family members.

They will be followed by first responders and Orlando Regional Medical Center staff, along with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan.

Community Grand Marshals including representatives of the Orlando Police Department and Fire Department will also be represented at the head of the parade.

A statement said: “On Saturday, October 8, members and supporters of the LGBT community in Central Florida will gather together for a day of celebration, rememberance, festivities and giving back.

“The 12th annual festival will feature the most colorful parade in Orlando, an incredible entertainment lineup including a nighttime fireworks spectacular, not to mention our region’s most supportive businesses and organisations.”

It adds: “There is no doubt that the attack which so greatly impacted our community will be a part of this year’s event, however we also want to showcase the love and support that emerged following such an act of hate.

“People from around the world showed their support to the people of Orlando in the weeks and months that followed, and at Come Out With Pride we will unite and stand together physically as we work to build a better future for our community.”